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Parental Rights Should Not End at the State Line

Los Derechos de los Padres no deben Terminar en la Frontera Estatal

 

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

March 11, 2013

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If you’re a parent living in one of the 38 states that require an abortionist to notify you or obtain your consent prior to his performing an abortion on your minor daughter, you may think that your rights to know what happens to your pregnant child are protected.


Think again.


In the other twelve states, where an abortionist can perform this invasive procedure on a minor without either of that girl’s parents knowing, it doesn’t matter if the girl is a local resident or from out of state.  It also doesn’t matter if your daughter is accompanied across state lines by the coercive adult father of her child -- your grandchild can be aborted without you even being aware of it.


Moreover, this could have been stopped by now.


In 2005 and 2006, both houses of Congress passed versions of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA).  This measure would have made it illegal to transport a minor to another state for the purpose of avoiding a state’s parental notification or consent for abortion law.  It would have protected parents’ rights and protected girls from adult abusers who don’t want evidence of their abuse to survive.


In accordance with normal lawmaking procedure, the slightly different versions of the bills passed by the House and Senate were to be worked out by a conference committee so that a single bill could go to the President to sign.  But Senate Democrats, led by then Minority Leader Harry Reid, blocked the conference committee from being called.


Attempting to reassert the rights of the majority, the House again passed the CIANA legislation in 2006.  Senator Harry Reid responded by staging a filibuster so that the bill could not even be considered by the Senate.  When a cloture vote was taken to end the filibuster and allow a vote, Senator Reid twisted enough Democrats’ arms so that only 57 Senators agreed – three short of the 60 needed.  A minority of pro-abortion zealots in the Senate prevented CIANA’s passage.


After 2006, Senator Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi assumed power in Congress for the next four years, ensuring that no new parents’ rights legislation, much less new pro-life legislation, would see the light of day.


Today, while Senator Reid still rules the upper chamber, there is pro-life leadership and a pro-life majority in the House of Representatives. 


The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act has been reintroduced in the House by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and in the Senate by Senator Marco Rubio (FL).  It would not only bar the transporting of a minor across state lines to avoid a parental notification or consent law, but also require an abortionist to contact a parent of the girl if she’s from out of state.


An overwhelming majority of Americans, whether "pro-life" or "prochoice," support this commonsense legislation. It would be nice to know why so many Democratic legislators disagree. CIANA has been introduced as a bill; it’s time it became law. For more details, visit www.priestsforlife.org/legislation.

   
 
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